The Society’s Licensing Group attended the Local consultation meeting on 20th February: A brief summary of their report:
- About 20-30 attendees but Chairman failed to ask attendees to identify themselves when asking questions. An attendance list, giving contact details, was circulated.
- The meeting was chaired by the ‘We Are the Fair’ (WATF) who had two colleagues with him.
- Towards the end of the meeting, Councillor Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Regeneration, struggled to answer questions from the floor , mainly about Southwark's decision -making process and lack of consultation. He agreed to report back and circulate his findings to the attendees before the next Stakeholders’ meeting.
- Throughout the meeting WATF and Southwark were repeatedly criticised about location of the event and the lack of consultation with local community and amenity societies before the location was agreed.
Programme: Day 1 - maximum of 8,000 ticket holders, plus approx. 500-550 staff on site. To date, 1,650 tickets sold. Day 1 - emphasis is on music – with about 12 food vendors. Day 2: Emphasis more on food; maximum of 4,000 - 5,000 ticket holders + staff; 20 food vendors, many being local/Peckham traders
Newsletters: RD claimed that 4,500 newsletters giving details of plans for the event had been distributed to local residents/business in the past few days; many attendees claimed not to have received them.
Site plan: very few copies were available but it seemed very similar to the plan attached to the licensing application. There was heavy and repeated criticism from the floor about choice of location, not just because of potential damage to park, wild-life etc. Several people commented the site was known as marshy and would, if it rained either before or on the day, quickly turn into a quagmire. The chair conceded that other locations had been considered, but the promoters chose this site – apparently because of its attractive backdrop of trees. No satisfactory explanation was given as to why Southwark agreed the event could take place in the Park as opposed to on the Common. There were repeated questions as to why the location could not be changed to the Common. Councillor Situ was unable to answer but agreed to enquire. WATF have provided a bond of £7,000 to remedy any damage to the site, a figure generally thought to be inadequate. The chair stated this was the size of bond usually provided and that usually only 50% maximum was ever called upon.
Security and stewarding: The contracts have not yet been awarded. Several companies will be selected to monitor different ‘zones’ of the event, e.g., entrances/exits - another would steward bars. No figure given for numbers of stewards overall. No mention of police presence (unlike in WARF’s application for their proposed event on Streatham Common). Security will be on site 24/7 from Day 1 of the build (4 days before first day of the event) until site is handed back to Southwark.
Noise Management: A draft plan has been drawn up by Joynes Nash, acoustic consultants, in conjunction with Southwark’s environmental team, to include the location of 3 stages to minimise noise impact on residents. Not yet finalised. There will be an outdoor stage, 2 covered stages; consultants will monitor noise throughout the event to ensure it does not exceed permitted levels. There was some scepticism from the floor as to the effectiveness of noise reporting on the Residents Noise Hot Line.
Traffic and transport/ egress and crowd dispersal strategy: Plans are still a work in progress. Many questions from the floor on matters such as – road closures/traffic diversions, taxi drop-off points, parking restrictions, shuttle buses etc – were not answered, other than to say plans are still being developed. The chair volunteered that they expect many attendees to be ‘relatively local’ –30% of those who have bought tickets are from Peckham area. WARF will monitor ticket sales for ‘after the event’ parties at venues such as Ministry of Sound to judge whether appropriate transport should be part of the dispersal/egress strategy.
Waste/Litter: Contract for specialist site cleaning out to tender and not yet awarded